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What is a floating floor?
In this method of installation, tiles, boards and even individual planks are attached together along with the tongue and groove side either with glue or by snapping together over the subfloor. The tongue and groove edges are fit together and locked in place, thus, the entire floor is snapped together to itself and not the subfloor. The prime example of a floating floor is laminate flooring; however, WPC floor vinyl and engineered flooring can also be installed on a floating basis.
What is better, prefinished or unfinished wood flooring?
With unfinished floor you have greater choice of finishes, however, prefinished products also come in variety of wood species, colors and grains. If you prefer a mirror like surface with no bevels then unfished flooring can give you that, but prefinished flooring usually have micro-bevels on all edges. Overall, the cost for both unfinished flooring and prefinished flooring is almost the same, but usually unfinished wood can cost less. It is much easier and cleaner to install prefinished flooring; however, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive great result with unfished flooring. You can walk on installed prefinished flooring right away, but with unfinished flooring you must wait two to four hours in order to use it and move in your furniture. Overall, both have their own unique qualities and it depends on your own personal choice if you prefer unfinished flooring or prefinished flooring.
Can I re sand and refinish a prefinished floor?
Yes. You can re sand and refinish a prefinished floor. However, it will cost a little more to re sand and refinish a prefinished floor than unfinished hardwood flooring. The main difference between prefinished hardwood flooring and unfinished hardwood flooring is that their finishes are applied at different places. Prefinished wood finishes are applied at the factory whereas unfinished wood finishes are applied in the buyer’s house.
How hard is it to install hardwood/laminate floor?
If you have adequate carpentry skills then you can install hardwood floor, but you will need all the basic equipment such as a table-saw, nail set and hammer. There are many retailers that offer DIY products, but the easiest DIY product is lock and fold. It is very simple. You place a board on the subfloor and lock the tongue and groove side to another piece. You repeat the same processes over and over. It is important to note that not all installations are easy and can be quite messy especially glue down thus it’s better to hire professional installers to do the job.
How much will it cost me to buy and install carpet and hardwood flooring?
The cost of carpet, tile flooring and hardwood flooring all depend on the quality of the product and the square footage. It is important to note that carpet is priced by the square yard, not square foot. Nevertheless, it is very easy to convert the square yard price into square feet; just divide it by 9. For example, carpet priced at $18/square yard costs $2/square foot. The average cost of cheap carpet is $2/square foot, but good quality carpet can cost from $3 to $4 per square foot. Furthermore, the cost of designer labels can range from $5 or more per square foot. Don’t forget that you will pay extra for padding and installation.
The cost of hardwood flooring can range from $4 to $7 and the installation cost can be around $2 and more.
What is recommended for cleaning hardwood floors?
It is mainly recommended to use maintenance products from manufactures of prefinished wood flooring. Avoid using homemade cleaning products because they are mainly water based which can cause cupping and even damage the surface of floor that might create problems when recoating your floor in future. Check with your retailer for hardwood cleaning product recommendations.
How to clean grooves in the prefinished hardwood flooring?
Dirt collected in the wood beveled edges are easily swept or vacuumed out. If you want a mirror like surface flooring, then it is better to install unfinished wood. However, in prefinished hardwood flooring the grooves are there to conceal unevenness in the sub floor and other expansions and contractions.
How long does it take to acclimate hardwood flooring?
One or two days is enough for acclimatization of hardwood flooring.
During an installation how long should I be away from home?
Here at M3 Interiors, it takes 2 business days to install 1000 square foot hardwood flooring. It takes 2-3 days to resand 1000 square foot of existing prefinished and unfinished wood.
I am installing DIY hardwood, what percent of waste should I include to my measurements for cutting?
It all depends on the layout of the rooms. If the room is squarer shaped then the general rule is to add 5% wastage, but if the rooms are angle shaped then add 7%-10% wastage.
Can I install hardwood in my kitchen?
Yes, but you must follow the proper maintenance. If there is spills from broken water glass or kitchen faucet overspray, then mop it right away to avoid causing cupping. In addition, always keep in mind that there is the possibility of disastrous water-related events such as unchecked water under the sink or a slowly leaking refrigerator.
Is floor scratches, cuts, scuffs, marks and dents covered within the warranty period?
Majority of manufacturers of prefinished wood flooring have residential warranty and commercial warranty periods between 5 to 25 years. These warranties do not cover conditions caused by improper maintenance of flooring such as scratches, cuts, scuffs, marks and dents. It only covers manufacturing defects and warranty that the finish will not fade under normal traffic.
What humidity level is good for hardwood and engineered flooring and happens if humidity level is either too high or too low?
It is essential to always maintain humidity levels between 35% and 55% with solid or engineered hardwood flooring in your house. If the humidity level is too high, then it will cause moisture to seep into the wood as a result there will be cupping. On the other hand, if the humidity is too low then it will cause the wood to dry out. As a result, the wood will weaken; thus, always try to keep the humidity levels in check.
What is Hardwood Floor grading?
Wood products are known for their natural beauty, but when selecting a type of wood for your flooring project, it is important to also consider the level of durability by understanding the difference between wood grades. You may go to National Hardwood Flooring Association (NWFA) page to see the Hardwood Grading deference.
Which type of wood flooring is right for me, solid or engineered?
That depends on where you want to install it. Both solid and engineered wood floors are made using real wood, so both are environmentally friendly. Solid wood flooring can be used in any room that is above grade but not basements. Engineered wood floors are real wood floors that are manufactured using multiple layers of wood veneers. This means that they will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring, which makes them ideal for slab and basement installations as well as above grade.
Which wood species is right for me?
Choosing the right species of wood flooring is strictly a matter of your style, budget and personal preference. Ash or maple generally make a room appear more open and airier. Hickory or oak generally make a room appear warmer and cozier. Walnut or mahogany make a room appear statelier and more refined. Exotic species can offer even more color options. Each wood species is rated for its hardness and durability (Janka Hardness Rating).
Factory-finished floors or site-finished floors?
Each method has its own benefits and advantages and choosing the right method will depend on the level of customization you want to achieve. A job-site finished wood floor offers you unlimited possibilities for customizing the final appearance of your floor. However, you should expect noise and dust and should also allow time for the finish to dry on site.
Factory-finished wood floors, while available in many options, will not allow you to achieve the same level of customization as job-site finished wood floors but are installed more quickly and easily.
My pet’s scratching my floors! Is there anything I can do to prevent the damage?
Your best defense is to trim your pet’s nails regularly, however, there are several things you can do to minimize scratches from pets on your wood floors. Place scatter rugs at all doors. Keep in mind that the scratches will most likely be on the floor surface only, and not in the wood. Consult a professional wood flooring contractor for specific recommendations about how to repair these surface scratches and minimize them in the future.
How do I keep my floors looking new?
All hardwood floors should be cleaned regularly. To accomplish that, simply sweep, dust-mop or vacuum the floors. Avoid using a wet mop on hardwood floors as it can dull the finish or even damage the wood over a long period of time. Place scatter rugs at all entrances, avoiding those with rubber backs; which can discolor wood floors.
Hardwood installation is so expensive. Why can’t I just do it myself (DIY)?
Installing wood floors is a lot more complicated than painting your walls or replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets. First, you will be spending several thousand dollars on materials alone, so if you damage them, it’s not as easy as buying another $30 gallon of paint. Wood flooring also requires special tools that you will likely have to rent and will have little experience using. The bottom line is that installing wood floors is not recommended as a DIY project. In the long run, you will save money and time by using a professional.
When I walk across my hardwood floor, I hear creaking sounds. Why?
There are several reasons that could be behind this. Usually it is caused by an uneven/unsecured subfloor or a subfloor made from chipboard. Manufacturers recommend strengthening chipboard subfloors with a plywood underlayment. In most cases, the problem is easily solvable.
Are there any rooms in the house where I should not install hardwood floors?
We do not recommend installing hardwood floors in full bathrooms that have a shower or bathtub. These rooms have the potential for standing puddles of water that can damage wood floors.
What is the most durable hardwood floor available?
Usually hardwood floors are treated with up to 10 coats of an aluminum oxide finish. While this will certainly help the durability of the floor, it is the hardness of the floor that will give the best indication of durability. Refer to the Janka Hardness Rating for a true indication of hardness (For example, domestic Red Oak and Hard Maple range from 1250-1450 while South American species, like Brazilian Cherry and Walnut, range between 2300-3600).
Why my floors have color variations?
Hardwood floors are a natural product; therefore, you should expect there to be natural color variations in the wood. Although lower grades of flooring will have a larger number of unwanted characters or shades, you can expect color variations in all grades.
My carpet is buckling, what causes this?
Several things can cause buckling. Improper installation, the wrong cushion, moving furniture or high humidity. When having your carpet re-stretched, be sure all the furniture is removed from the room and the carpet is power stretched very tightly in all four directions.
How will carpeting affect my dust and pollen allergies?
People that have allergies should vacuum their carpet at least twice a week and have it cleaned the way the manufacturer specifies; approximately every 12 to 18 months. A good carpet is an asset for allergy sufferers as it traps the dust much better than a hard surface. We recommend using a vacuum with good dust containment and performance and good quality, low pile Carpets.
How often should you get your carpets cleaned?
That depends a great deal on how many people live in the home; their age and number of pets. If you have young children then you already know how fast things like rugs, carpets and upholstery can get dirty. Pets can also bring in quite a bit of dirt, dust and other pollutants in to your home. We would suggest having your carpets cleaned every six to eight months if you have children or pets. If that doesn’t apply to you, then you should have your carpets cleaned once a year.
How is laminate flooring constructed?
Laminate flooring has 4 layers, a wear layer, a design layer, an inner core layer and a backing layer. The wear layer protects the floor from stains and fading and resists scuffs and scratches, even those from pets’ nails. Beneath that, the design layer is a photographic image of wood, stone or other visuals, glued to the next layer – the inner core. The inner core has a plastic resin for structural strength that keeps the laminate stable and flat. The final layer – the backing – creates a moisture barrier that protects the floor from warping. It’s this 4-layered construction that makes laminate flooring remarkably durable.
Are laminate floors pet-friendly floors?
Laminate flooring is a great option for households with pets. Pets’ nails won’t scratch or wear down a laminate floor that easily. Our furry loved ones, however, have different habits, and sand and pebbles may stick to their claws. As a precaution, it’s always a good idea to keep pets’ nails trimmed and wipe up spills as soon as they happen. The beauty of laminate is that if something happens to one of the pieces, it’s easily replaceable.
What’s the best way to maintain my laminate floor?
To maintain your laminate floor’s durability and beauty, just sweep and use a microfiber mop along with a cleaning product recommended for laminate. Guard against abrasions by placing a mat outside entrance doors to collect excess moisture, sand and grit. Use protective pads or castors under furniture and appliances. Another good tip is to periodically rearrange furniture to resist indentations.
How long can I expect my laminate floor to last?
First, that depends on the quality of the product you buy. Most manufacturers carry a 20-30-year guarantee on their products against defects. “Quality” laminate floors are not easily scratched or dented and so how long your laminate floor lasts depend on how you maintain it and the degree of wear placed on it.
What is the difference between a real wood floor (solid or engineered) and a laminate floor?
The main difference is that laminate flooring is not made of real wood. Laminate is easier to install and more resistant to stains than real wood. It will not expand or contract as much with seasonal changes in humidity and temperature either. All this makes Laminate floors very popular for high trafficked areas like Kitchens. Laminate flooring cannot, however, be sanded and refinished like real wood flooring and would have to be replaced when worn out or scratched. Alongside its reparability, Hardwood flooring is the only floor covering that will also increase the value of your home.
Can cleaning products for vinyl or tile floors be used on wood floors as well?
No. Never use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. And never use self-polishing acrylic waxes on wood floors either. These waxes cause wood to become slippery and dull which require it to be sanded and refinished.
Does it matter to select wood flooring instead of less-costly materials like laminate or vinyl?
According to real estate professionals’ homes with wood floors sell faster and fetch higher prices. According to a nationwide survey commissioned by the National Wood Flooring Association, real estate agents-by a four-to-one margin-said that a house with wood floors would sell faster than a house without wood floors. Some 90 percent said a house with wood floors would bring a higher price.